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On my previous members page, I was experimenting with digital imaging. Although my experiments were less than successful, I will continue exploring the possibilities using Photoshop. My focus for now is writing a book entitled, A Chronicle of Art in Texas: Behind the Scenes. It is my view as an observer of artists in their studios and a participant in art activities.
These images comprise some of my accomplishments and photographs of friends.
All the words and photographs on this page, except as noted, are
copyright 2013 or before by Paul Rogers Harris. All Rights Reserved
Paul Rogers Harris Children’s House 1964 photograph 4 ¼ x 6
The Dallas Museum of Contemporary Art opened in 1959 Cedar Springs, and Douglas Macagy was hired as director. In January of 1960, he asked me to create an art program for children in a typical Texas cottage on the Dickason Avenue behind the museum, Downing Thomas converted the house for the program. This period was one of the happiest times of my life.
I was able to try some ideas that were not possible in a standard public classroom. Many of the artists who lived in the neighborhood became long time friends. With the exhibitions Macagy was curating, I saw work artists all over the world were producing.
Since I lived just down the street from the museum, I would often stop by after work or after my Saturday morning classes. By observing Macagy’s installations and museums procedures, I could use later when I became director of the Art Center in Waco.
I started photographing art, installations, artists and exhibition openings. These events gave me the opportunity to meet artists, members of the staff, board volunteers and other people who were active in the community. I've used many of hese contacts in writing “A Chronicle of Art in Texas: Behind the Scenes.”
Polyhedron 1968 Offset lithography 8 ¼ x 8 ¼ photo by J R Compton
The idea for the "Polyhedron" came after I taught my high school students pape-folding. I did not have decorations for my Christmas tree that year and assembled some blank ones. With felt markers, I invited David & Norma McManaway over to color them and hang on the tree.
Everyone was depressed about Kennedy's assassination, and I was visiting the Rogalla's one evening and showed them the object I had made. We decided to do something to allay our despondancy. Jett had worked in her father's print shop and knew about die cuts. We had blank ones made, decorated them and took them to Sample House and sold a few; however, we realized that hand-coloring them was not going to be profitable. I was off to New York the next year.
I was working at the Museum of Modern Art and found out that Junior Council published greeting cards and submitted mine. They did not like my design and suggested that we use a pattern of Merry Christmas with hues of red and green to create an optical effect. The royalties of that card sent me to Europe the next summer. It was reprinted a second year with Season's Greeting in green. No trip but paid air fare to Dallas at Christmas.
Ray Interrupt 1975 Polaroid 3 x 3 inches
For a brief time I had a Polaroid camera and experimented with it as I could afford to buy the film when my funds would allow. With early Polaroid, one could manipulate the developer before it hardened. I either started too late or pulled it out of the camera too soon. This was the result and even though it was not perfect, I decided to save it.
Gateway Gallery 1984 Inaugural Exhibition Dallas Museum of Art
When the new addition to the Dallas Museum of Art was to open, Museum Director Harry Parker invited me to curate the inaugural exhibition. After making a presentation to the Junior League of Dallas, they gave me a $100,000.00 grant. I was able to hire two associates, Don Dennis, graphic designer and Tom Harrover, an architect. There was to be a participatory area, two exhibition areas, a mural by David McManaway with some children and two murals by Jack Boynton, a Houston artist. We had a year to plan and I came to Dallas while we discussed the installation.
I was familiar with Victor D’Amico’s “The Children’s Carnival of Modern Art” and based many of the participatory elements on it. Boynton was to do a Time-Line of work of work in the museum’s collection and a map showing Texas within the United States and Dallas in Texas and Texas in the world.
The title of the exhibition was “LIne, Color, Form & Texture, and it was to be illustrated by the work of 50 Texas artists in all media and 30 photographers. It was to show how an artist uses those elements to make a work of art.
Major works by Texas and International artists in the participatory area were by James Surls (wood sculpture), Alexander Calder (model for a Braniff Airlines plane), Flukinger/Harrah (neon tubes) and an unknown artist [Epa mask from Africa (Yorba)].
Before 911 1999 Photograph 4 ½ x 6 inches
“Creative Time” in New York had arranged a light show in the caissons of the Brooklyn Bridge. I took a subway to the nearest stop and walked down into tunnel where the cables are located. It was 1999 and I had never walked across the bridge so I stopped and took this picture. I tried capturing the texture of the arches with the American Flag on top.
The World Trade Centers was in the cloudy distance familiar to New Yorkers. This was before 911, and I continued walking and stopped to rest in front of City Hall. I continued to the Hudson River. This is the narrowest part of the Manhattan Island.
Folk Art in Window 2012 Photograph 4 x 6 7/8 inches
This collection of primarily Mexican folk art was purchased in Dallas, Mexico, San Antonio, Santa Fe and San Francisco. It started when I was teaching art in elementary school. I could see a relation between innocence of art by children and the simplicity of traditional Mexican folk art. It was also inexpensive and I could afford it.
Later on when I discovered “found,” “junk,” “primitive” or tramp art, I could see the child’s innate sense of design in its use of color, texture, form and subject matter. The green stick with a clock on the top resting on a metal base is Pamela Nelson. She is a Dallas artist, not an innocent. John McElroy, former professor of ceramics at SMU said about the clay sculpture, “You can’t do that,” but the Mexican potter could hold all those pieces together.
Nude figure on Truck 1986 Photograph 7 x 5 ½ inches
I had gone with my friend to his farm and had stopped to look at the cows in one of the pastures. I always like to work with the male nude and asked him to pose. He climbed on the hood of the truck. Outdoors is familiar location for taking nude photographs. The contrast of shadows on his white body and the curves of his body against the straight lines of the truck made an interesting composition. He also climbed on the fence for a different pose.
Dreyer Multiple 2012 Photograph 5 x 7 inches
It was his master’s exhibition where I first saw David and his work. It was an immediate without any analysis or contemplation. When Larry Felty, chairman, suggested an exhibition of his work in the Hallway Gallery at Mountain View College, I contacted him, went to his studio in a garage in back of his house and quickly selected work for the show.
I went to an exhibition in the passage way between Commerce and Main Streets next to Neiman Marcus. It was sponsored by the Dallas Contemporary Art Dealers Association. I responded to a wooden sculpture and was delighted that David had carved it.
As he moves from painting to sculpture and in some cases merge both, I have a visceral response that is difficult to verbally express. His work matures and changes and yet it will always say “David Dreyer.” He is an honest, hard working artist and loving husband and friend. When I came out of the rehab center and I need to have my old fashioned clay footed bath and shower handicapped equipped. David who is a licensed plumber came and installed the necessary equipment.
DARts Support Pages Index
- Also read Paul's I Never Thought of Myself As an Artist, a short, autobiographical story, from the catalog to his retrospective, Paul Rogers Harris: 50 Years in Art, curated by Murray Smither at Mountain View College in February 2001. It includes several, earlier digital works.
- Paul's self-portrait in the DARts Self-Portrait show online
- Paul's contribution to the EASL Toys & Games show auction
- Juror's Statement for the Fourth Annual National Juried Art Exhibition in Rockwall, Texas
All works pictured on this page
Copyright 2013 and before by Paul Rogers Harris. All Rights Reserved
since May 30 2005
since April 25 2013
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